Bailey, Blake. THE SPLENDID THINGS WE PLANNED: A FAMILY PORTRAIT. New York City, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2014. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 255 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's debut memoir. One of Blake Bailey's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. Presents Blake Bailey's "The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait". Fathers, sons, and brothers: A literary elegy for family, brotherhood, and life itself. "Author of acclaimed biographies of Richard Yates ('A Tragic Honesty'), John Cheever ('Cheever: A Life'), and Charles Jackson ('Farther And Wilder'), Blake Bailey once remarked that his aim in writing such books was 'to reconcile the paradox of a highly compartmentalized personality'. This memoir suggests that Bailey's fascination with compartmentalized people, and his explicating the simultaneous bleakness and beauty of their lives, stems from personal experience. Bailey's older brother, Scott, careened from one disaster to the next, bewildering and disappointing everyone around him. Though Scott has functional moments, including a stint in the Marines, during which he became a Master Sharpshooter, such moments become footnotes to a larger pattern of wrecked cars, jail time, and intoxicated self-pity. Their father, an upright Oklahoma attorney, tries to wash his hands of his son as Scott becomes increasingly unhinged. As his own life begins to blossom, Bailey remains an ambivalent participant in this sad family saga, torn by his antipathy for his brother yet aware of all that they share" (Brendan Driscoll). "Haunting" (David Sedaris DJ Front Blurb). "You can hate a person with all your heart and soul, and still long for that person" (Blake Bailey). An absolute "must-have" title for Blake Bailey collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed, dated (shortly after publication), and inscribed in black pen-marker on the title page by the author: "I hope you write more cheerful books. Blake Bailey 3.12.14". It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. The recipient is named. The inscription unmistakably refers to the author's own un-cheerful, sad memoir, and is quite lovely as such. This title is a contemporary classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed, post-publication dated, and inscribed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Please note: Page 113 has a crease at the bottom, a publisher's flaw, NOT affecting the text. A rare signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER BLAKE BAILEY TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0393239578. $50.00

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